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10 Products, Including Shoes, That You'll Need During Your 18+ Weeks of Marathon Training

Welcome to marathon training season. You did it. You signed up. You committed to 18 plus weeks of training. 18 weeks. That’s a long time. There’s no doubt the highs will be high and the lows will be low, after all, it comes with the sport.

Just know that we’re there to support you the whole way. Whether you have questions on shoes, injuries, or sports nutrition we can get you the answers you need to succeed.

As a company that has been heavily involved with the Bank of America Chicago Marathon for over 20 years and trained thousdands of runners to cross the finish line, we’re here to help. We picked the brains of staff that have run over 50 marathons combined to help you get to the start line and across the finish line. Here’s a quick rundown of everything they recommend:


Most importantly, you'll need the right running shoes for you.

They might not the best looking or cutest shoe for you, but they could be just the shoe for you. And that's all that matters.

Fleet Feet Sports is known for something we refer to as the FIT Process.  To get the best assessment of your feet, we’ll scrutinize your every stance, stride and step from the ground level. And while we assess the biomechanics of your foot, we’ll be mentally mining through our extensive product selection to come up with the best shoes and gear specifically for you.

New in our stores this year is our 3D-scanning machine called fit id. fit id provides a full scan of your feet in five seconds, measuring everything that matters.



Supportive insoles, in combination with a properly fitting shoe will do wonders for your body. From the feet, up.

Speaking of insoles, not everyone needs them, but everyone can benefit from them.

Let’s quickly talk about your shoe for a moment. If you take out the sock liner it is essentially a thin piece of unsupportive foam that protects your foot from the seams on the bottom of the shoe. Take a look at the bottom of your foot. It is not flat, it may have a little or a lot of shape.

Your arch is your body’s natural shock absorber and it works very hard when you run. Why not give this 3D surface 3D support?


Socks that aren't cotton won't give you blisters.

Why can’t you just run in plain cotton socks? While cotton is great at absorbing moisture, it is not great at dispersing it and drying quickly.

Enter running socks.

Whether a sock is made of nylon or Merino wool, it is guaranteed to be much, much more comfortable than cotton. Feetures and Balega both feature synthetic materials in varying weights. A synthetic material dries quickly and is naturally soft.

Smartwool socks are made with Merino wool, a natural fiber. Merino wool is excellent at moisture transport and keeps your feet warm when wet (in winter) and cool when wet (in summer).


Recover quicker and feel the squeeze with compression socks and sleeves.

Compression works by manipulating your arteries and veins to increase your circulatory efficiency. The increase in circulatory efficiency is what drives all of the benefits you see from compression. This newfound increase in blood flow is responsible for:

  • Increasing the oxygenated blood that feeds your muscles during exercise.
  • Blood is what filters lactic acid out of the muscles and returns it for filtration.  The increased blood volume has the ability to remove more lactic acid.
  • Lactic acid is produced when your muscles consume all the available oxygen in your blood; the increase in oxygenated blood reduces the amount of lactic acid produced during exercise. 

Wear compression during running and post-run to reap the benefits.


Massage products can give you masseuse-quality lactic acid release in your own home.

While there is nothing better than getting a professional sports massage to aid in recovery or injury prevention, it is not easily accessible for everyone. (Though we do recommend checking out what Aligned Modern Health has to offer. They're the best.)

There are also many, many options out there ranging from massage sticks, foam rollers, and massage balls. Below you can see the different types. Click each one to get an in-depth article.

  • Foam roller: Foam rollers are great for your back, quads, and hamstrings because it allows you to use your body weight to your advantage and apply great amounts of pressure to break up dense muscle tissues that may be causing you problems. But foam rollers are limited by their large size.
  • Massage stick: Massage sticks and rollers are handheld, making them great at pinpointing specific, smaller muscle groups. Since you have complete control in your hands, you can adjust the pressure easily and roll laterally.
  • Massage ball: A massage ball penetrates deeply into muscles for targeted deep tissue myofascial release. The shape of a massage ball closely mimics the feeling of a massage therapist's palm or elbow.
  • Roll Recovery R8 Roller: A one-of-a-kind massage tool for targeting hard-to-reach areas like the piriformis, deep calf muscles, and pecs.



You'll need all the apparel, including multiple outfits for when you skip laundry day.

Every brand we carry in our store was born in running and continue to engineer their materials and fits for runners. For marathon, training it is important to have a variety of shorts, 2-in-1 shorts, half tights, capris, tank tops, short sleeve shirts, even long sleeve shorts for the colder months.

These should all be made of non-cotton moisture wicking fabrics like polyester, nylon, or Merino wool and possibly combined with some form of Lycra for stretch and comfort.

Last, let’s be real about sports bras.80% of women are wearing the wrong size bra. Our bra fit specialists work with you to provide the best solutions for you based on size, activity, and needs.  Here's a glimpse of our in-store fit process and how to measure your size:

1. Determine your band size by measuring the smallest distance above your bust. For odd numbers, round down.

2. Measure around the fullest part of your bust.

3. Determine the difference between the two measurements. Use the chart to match that number to the corresponding cup size.

We recommend having more than one sports bra: one on body, in the wash, and one ready to go. Find your favorite and buy it in every color.


A GPS watch is almost a necessity if you have specific goals in mind.

Face it, smartphones are bulky and heavy to be lugging around during your runs. A GPS watch is small, light, easy on battery, more accurate than whatever app you'll use on your phone, waterproof, and rugged.

Our assortment of GPS watches from Garmin are helpful for programming workouts, keeping on pace, and tracking cross-training activities.




Nutrition is not an option. It's mandatory if you're running 26.2 miles. 

Runners are likely to hear or see their peers talking or posting on social media about running nutrition supplements, leaving some scratching their asking themselves questions such as:

  1. Should I be taking nutrition?

  2. What type of nutrition should I be taking?

  3. When should I take it?

Nutritional running fuel is generally loaded with carbohydrates. This is because a runner’s primary fuel sources are carbohydrates(in the form of blood glucose and glycogen) and fats. When your body runs out of its carbohydrate resources, you’ll be forced to slow down.

This all-inclusive blog about running nutrition covers everything. The difference between the types of running nutrition, how much you should take, and answers the question "should I be taking nutrition?"



Sure the marathon course will have water and Gatorade for you but what will you do on your training days? 

With a good amount of Chicago's water foutains out of commission due to high amounts of lead being found, portable hydration is a necessity. The blog covers all of the types of portable hydration we carry. From handheld water bottles, to belts, waistpacks, and backpacks.


You don't think you need these accessories now, but you just might. Trust us. 

We’ve gone through what you need to make your 18 weeks of training successful, now we need to talk about the little things that make your runs great. Just tips and tricks from the best runners on staff. Click on the product to learn more.

  • Body Glide. Chafing happens in areas when you least expect it. 
  • Hat: It gets hot out there in the summer; cover all of your bases.
  • Sunglasses. Often overlooked (there are too many people running along the lake without them), sunglasses protect your eyes from wind, rain, sand, and sun. Goodr makes a pair of UV protection, non-slip sunglasses for just $25. You can't beat it.
  • Bone-conduction headphones: 

Article written by Fleet Feet Chicago 

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